Did we need Magufuli in 2015 and do we need Samia in 2021?Marie Shaba
President Samia Suluhu Hassan gave a very resourceful speech to the nation when addressing women in Dodoma on the 08.06.2021. I was personally touched by the metaphor she used to explain what makes a woman and a man two sides of the same coin
She elaborated skillfully that the Almighty Creator gave the masculinities and femininities different capabilities and capacities which weigh equally. A man is physically fit to carry heavy loads, build heavy infrastructures and can make destructive decisions like going to war.
A woman can make tough decisions like getting pregnancy and be a nurturer; has the gift of persuasion, conviction and inspiration using her tongue. She approaches issues with feminine grace and patience not violence. A man has the valuable task of being the custodian and treasurer of the sacred seeds and the woman is the field where the seed will be planted and will turn into a workshop where The Creator will continue to create more human beings and sustain them with ready-made nourishments for the first six months and more.
A woman’s strength is not tangible that’s why she is considered weak, just like a seed buried under the earth, nobody values it until it bears fruits. Dad invests in building a house and mum looks after the welfare of the workers, family including that of her husband. Whatever mum earns is spent on everyday needs of the family.
Tanzania has witnessed with great shock the death in office of the highest leader of the nation before fulfilling his dreams! He was silenced by fate before he could explain why he did what he did and apologize where he went wrong!
That said, I believe we needed JPM in 2015 in the context of the metaphor presented by President Samia. We needed the kind of leadership JPM to shake off our apathy. JPM exerted authority and confidence; we were spanked and cried bitterly but that’s the sweet and sour of any transformation process.
JPM was a man of action and proudly told the world that Afrika is not poor but has been impoverished by exploitative neo-liberal policies. Through his toughness we realized what a responsible government can do to develop the nation even without a political Party. The role of the Political Party is to watchdog the government’s response to the needs and aspirations of the people.
Paying tribute to JPM Mzee Mwinyi said “Magufuli has made tremendous achievements in five year which we could not in 55 years “. That is a confession of a person who knows and fears God. There were those who chose to ridicule him saying are we going to feed our children with bridges and bombardier airplanes? Anyway after we cried and said all our goodbyes to JPM we came down to earth and appreciated the house he built which he never lived in.
It was prophetic like that we had Mum Samia who worked tirelessly with JPM as the first female Vice President from 2015 and in March 2021 succeeded JPM as President and The Commander in Chief according to the Constitution. Am convinced she understood why JPM gave priority to infrastructure in order for other services to prosper and abandon the infamous trademark of “the Least Developed Country” and struggle for economic emancipation hence “the worked goes on”. If she didn’t share the vision she would have stepped down.
According to her metaphor; men are hardware and women software! The house is built now it’s time to make it a home. She has tightened her waistband with feminine patience doing her thing and facing bravely all kinds of spooks and mischievous people who pop up when you seat on the hot seat. Children are praying for mum to maintain the legacy and the resources which they invested together. Will ghosts plunder the resources and erase dad’s name? Time will tell!
2025 is the year of reckoning, are we going to choose ujamaa and self-reliance or individualism and dependence? This time the people shall write the manifesto and politicians will have to explain how they will implement it. No time for parading party ideology; it just confuses us voters! We want peace and justice, equitable progress and prosperity.